Insomnia

Insomnia is a symptom of a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even though having the opportunity to. Insomnia is a symptom. It is not a stand-alone diagnosis or a disease.

Definition of Insomnia

  • inability to obtain sufficient sleep, esp. when chronic; difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness.
  • "difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both" and it may be due to inadequate quality or quantity of sleep; typically followed by functional impairment while awake.

Insomniacs have been known to complain about being unable to close their eyes or being unable to rest their minds for more than a few minutes at a time. Both organic and non-organic insomnia constitute a sleep disorder.

In 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 64 million Americans suffer from insomnia on a regular basis each year. Commonly, Insomnia occurs 1.4 times more in women than in men.

Different Types of insomnia

Three types of insomnia have been clearly identified: transient, acute, and chronic. However, there are several different degrees of insomnia

  • Transient Insomnia - Transient insomnia lasts from days to weeks. It can be caused by another disorder, changes in sleep environment, the timing of sleep, severe depression, or by stress. Its consequences - sleepiness and impaired psychomotor performance - are similar to those of sleep deprivation.
  • Acute Insomnia - Acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well through a period of between three weeks to six months.
  • Chronic insomnia - Chronic insomni lasts for years at a time. It can be caused by another disorder, or it can be a primary disorder. Its effects can vary according to its causes. They might include sleepiness, hallucinations, muscular fatigue, and/or mental fatigue. However, people with chronic insomnia often show increased alertness. Some people that live with this disorder see things as though they were happening in slow motion, whereas moving objects seem to blend together and can cause double vision.
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